Fix an Erratic Sink Sprayer
Inside your faucet, there’s a “diverter”
valve, which stops the water flow to the
spout and sends it to the sprayer when you
press the spray head’s trigger. Here are the
symptoms of diverter trouble:
- Very little water, or none at all, comes
out of the sprayer when you press the
trigger. A bad sprayer head can cause
this, but more often the diverter is the
culprit. To check this, remove the spray
head and turn on the faucet. If the
water flow out of the hose is weak, the
diverter is to blame.
- The sprayer pulsates like a machine gun.
- Water continues to flow out of the
faucet spout when you’re using the
Often, a misbehaving diverter needs only light scrubbing with a toothbrush and a good rinse. But since removing a diverter usually requires major faucet disassembly, it’s best to simply replace the diverter rather than risk taking it apart again.
Diverter styles and removal procedures differ widely. Some are small valves like the one shown here. Others are larger cylinders that don’t look like valves at all. Some newer diverters aren’t inside the faucet, but are instead connected to the sprayer hose below. So the first step in diverter repair is finding a diagram of your faucet. If you can’t find your owner’s manual, do an online search. Type in the manufacturer of your faucet followed by “faucet parts diagram.” With a little searching, you’ll find an illustration showing your faucet’s internal parts. You’ll also find several sources for replacement parts online. To find a local supplier, check theYellow Pages under “Plumbing, Fixtures” or search online.